autoimmune blindness

We were invited to our friends house on Sunday to celebrate their Sheepies birthday. When we arrived I noticed their little girl was a little off her Paws.

My friend told me she was diagnosed with an autoimmune issue. When it flares up, the optical nerve becomes inflamed and the poor little Sheepie becomes blind. In order for her to regain her sight she has to take prednizone and another drug (can't remember the name). I could see the prednizone was really taking a toll on her physically, gaining weight, loss of fur, and she had become incontinent when sleeping.

I've never heard of this problem before. Has anyone else experienced this syndrome? Any holistic suggestions for treating the problem?
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I'm sorry to hear about your friends dog. I don't know how successful this treatment is or if it can be repeatedly done... it' sounds more experimental but it might be worth asking about. Steroid and/or immunoglobulin are injected directly into the eye itself. It sounds like there may be fewer side effects.

IMR and SARDS are not the only causes of sudden blindness in dogs, but dogs that do have these diseases now have cause for hope. Whereas in the past, veterinarians had no treatments or explanations to offer such patients, Grozdanic now knows what’s causing the loss of vision, and he’s had some success by treating patients with steroids or a human protein called immunoglobulin. These drugs can suppress the autoimmune attack, but when delivered to the whole body, they can cause side effects such as liver damage.

With Roxi, Grozdanic tried something new: injecting a combination of immunoglobulin and steroids directly into Roxi’s worse eye. This direct delivery prevents the drugs from damaging other organs, and with Roxi at least, Grozdanic says “she really responded excellently.” ... =218393091

If treatment becomes worse than the blindness they're trying to prevent and the family needs some resources, please let me know.
At first I though you were talking about SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration) which leads to rapid onset blindness and which may be linked to cushings and is sometimes accompanied by liver disease - usually occurs in middle-aged dogs; bitches more frequently than dogs - but as I understand it that condition is irreversible (well, two dogs have undergone experimental therapy successfully, but that is fairly recent (April of last year) that they don't know if the improvements will hold up)

The other thing that comes to mind is IMR (Immune-mediated Retinopathy) which they've had somewhat better success at treating. It's only pretty recently they they realized IMR is different from SARDS and developed a test to distinguish which one of the two a dog may have. They are distinguished by where the auto antibodies are produced - in SARDS it is in the eye itself, in IMR they are produced elsewhere and travel to the eye to attack the retinal cells.

In IMR, as opposed to SARDS, the retinal cells retain some electrical activity and have "merely" lost function, which probably explains at least in part why they're having better luck treating IMR.

I can't think of anything else along those lines that might apply. Did they say what underlying autoimmune disorder she has?

A holistic vet's approach would probably be to bolster the dog's immune system. I'd be seeing one for sure. Most holistic vets are still vets and will not throw out known conventional therapies, though, if that is the only thing that will work. But they may be able to alleviate some of the side effects.

My Little 4 month old pup, Gordie just lost his sight yesterday morning. We were told that it could either be an infection or auto immune. This article was helpful, I hope my pup can get his sight back so he can enjoy his puppiness.
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